Time – A New Music Release by Solveig Leithaugh

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Solveig Leithaug just released a new music CD entitled, TIME. The internationally loved singer-songwriter has released fifteen solo recordings, including her newest title, Time (spring 2017), and three best-selling children’s CD’s. In addition to being a wife and mother, she performs around 30-40 concerts per year, tours frequently in her native Norway and has performed in over twenty nations. Her website states: “Her repertoire ranges from original songs that mirror her life and faith, to her own arrangements of traditional Scandinavian folksongs and classic hymns.” Solveig is also a masterful guitar player. Learn more about Solveig and her music in the interview below.

AN INTERVIEW WITH SOLVEIG LEITHAUG:

Summarizing her goal as an artist, Solveig states: “Whether performing with a band, full orchestra and choir, or alone with my guitar, my prayer has always been that my music will be an artistic bridge of hope, connecting the listener to their Creator.”

“TIME” FROM SOLVEIG LEITHAUG’S NEW MUSIC CD BY THE SAME TITLE:

Award-winning songwriter Gloria Gaither comments on Solveig’s music: “Listening to Solveig singing is like the pure vibrations of an innocent soul. She bypasses our cynical scar tissue and stylistic prejudices and goes–like the laughter of a child–straight to the heart.”

READ MORE ABOUT SOLVEIG LEITHAUG HERE: Singer-Songwriter Solveig Leithaug.

Time highlights guest vocals by Anthony Skinner, Cindy Morgan, Kelly Willard and Solveig’s daughter Kari Julianna. Eight of the project’s eleven songs are new and were written by Solveig with award-winning songwriters such as: Reba Rambo-McGuire, Cindy Morgan, Sarah Hart, Anthony Skinner, and Kelly Willard.

Time was produced by Steve Hindalong and features some of Nashville’s finest musicians including Jeff Taylor, Stu Garrard, Matt Slocum, and others along with Solveig’s signature acoustic guitars.

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE IN DIGITAL FORMAT: 

Spotify: http://spoti.fi/2psW00l
Tidal: 
http://bit.ly/2pYg3QO
iTunes 
http://apple.co/2qwwoih
Amazon: 
http://amzn.to/2qwAHKq

JOIN SOLVEIG LEITHAUG ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

Best wishes to Soveig on the release of her new music CD, Time. I hope she reaches into listener’s hearts with her provocative and insightful messages.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Singer-Songwriter Solveig Leithaug

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Solveig Leithaug is a Dove Award-winning singer-songwriter and international recording artist with fifteen solo recordings and three best-selling children’s CD’s. She has just released a new CD called, TIME.

From her website: “She performs around 30-40 concerts per year, and tours frequently in her native Norway. Her repertoire ranges from original songs that mirror her life and faith, to her own arrangements of traditional Scandinavian folksongs and classic hymns.

Solveig has performed in over twenty nations, from Parliament functions, national and international conferences to cathedrals,  prisons, jazz-cafes and outdoor festivals. She is featured on the Billboard chart-topping Gaither Homecoming Series with her live performances of her original song “Everything Has Its Season” on Women of Homecoming, Volume 1 (DVD and CD), and the classic “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” on How Great Thou Art (DVD and CD) from The Grand Ole Opry. Millions have watched her perform on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) TV-programs over the years.

W166Award-winning songwriter Gloria Gaither comments on Solveig’s music: ‘Listening to Solveig singing is like the pure vibrations of an innocent soul.  She bypasses our cynical scar tissue and stylistic prejudices and goes–like the laughter of a child–straight to the heart.’

An ordained minister since 1994, Solveig is a commentary writer for Thomas Nelson’s Women of Destiny Bible and contributed devotionals for Thomas Nelson’s 2012 Gaither Homecoming Bible. She currently serves as a founding board member for Compassion International in their Nordic region.

Summarizing her goal as an artist, Solveig states: ‘Whether performing with a band, full orchestra and choir, or alone with my guitar, my prayer has always been that my music will be an artistic bridge of hope, connecting the listener to their Creator.’

In addition to her roles as an actively touring artist, and songwriter, Solveig is first a wife to Jim, a mom and a stepmom. Her family resides near Nashville, Tennessee.”

Read More about singer-songwriter, Solveig Leithaug on her website and/or check out her full discography online.

CCM Magazine’s recent review of Solveig Leithaug’s new album, “Time”: Blending a mature adult contemporary sound with some Americana influence, Norwegian artist Solveig Leithaug has given fans a steady stream of heartfelt melodies since the mid-‘80s when she had a deal with Word Records. These days, she’s reaching fans as an indie artist with an impressive catalog and a enjoyable new release, Time. Leithaug’s buoyant, acoustic songs, such as “Lift You Up” and “Simple Things,” are filled with equal measures of truth and encouragement. Other favorites include the title track and the beautiful opener “Supermoon.” Click Here to read the full article.

Follow Solveig on Social Media:

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

 

 

 

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VICTORIOUS: An Interview with Singer-Songwriters Tito and Jessica Tosado

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VICTORIOUS is a newly released album by singer-songwriter, husband and wife team, Tito and Jessica Tosado. Their catalytic songs of awakening, inner healing, and anthems of praise define their signature sound. Get a taste for who they are and what they’re about in my interview below.

Q: First of all, congratulations on your brand new album!

A: Thank you for this opportunity!

Q: What is the essence or core message of this album?

A: The purpose of this album is to bring encouragement to anyone who hears it. That it can serve as language in prayer as well as be an onramp to experience God’s presence and love.

Q: What is the meaning behind the title of your album, “Victorious”?

A: Victorious has a two-fold meaning. One is the position of the believer who has gone through many obstacles and rough times but has leaned on God, and in the end will come out Victorious. Secondly, it’s about who God is in every situation. He is ALWAYS Victorious.

Q: It’s a big deal to have a dream that’s about to become a reality. But to be able to share in that same dream as a couple must just shoot you to the stars! How does it feel to have a shared vision and then to see it all come together in this album?

16938616_977724168994034_3214193466858908623_nA: Well, it honestly feels amazing! To be able to share a common goal with someone other than yourself is way more fun. One can put a thousand to flight but two can put ten thousand to flight. What’s fun about working together is the counter-culture we get to present to others. Modern ways of thinking are built on self-focus and independence. The ability to work together allows for us to consider each other, lay down entitlements and work in an interdependent way. His kingdom way is so much more fun!

Q: Have you both been musically inclined your entire lives?

A: (Jessica) Yes. It all started when I was 4-years-old and I started singing to Little Mermaids, “Part Of Your World.” (Laughs.)

A: (Tito) Not for me. I had no musical influence throughout my life apart from my love for musicals. Playing music didn’t become part of my life until the day I got saved and the desire to worship God was birthed.

Q: What or who were your early musical influences that helped in some way, shape who you are today?

A: (Jessica) The musical influences in my life were Rachel Lampa, Yolanda Adams, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Shania Twain. I really enjoy vocalists that portray emotion in there songs and tell a story.10423273_10153984681317028_5013986317083391874_n

A: (Tito) My musical influence that shaped my starting years, and still to this day, is the worship artist from IHOP-KC (International House of Prayer, Kansas City) Misty Edwards. Her life, worship and her reach for something more was the “inspirational spark.” Just like her, I wanted my music to match my hunger for Jesus.

Q: What do each of you appreciate most about having the “gift of song”?

A: (Jessica) What I enjoy about singing is that I get to give back to God everyday my song and that I get to share it with others. The ability that someone can experience God the way that I experience Him through song is a miracle that divinely connects us together in God. One of the things that I most enjoy about singing is the different genres and styles of music. As a singer, I am also a messenger, and I get to match God’s message to music that I feel most relays the message. And its cool!

A: (Tito) What I enjoy about having the ability to use music as a gift, is the creative way to reach individuals. Music throughout history has been an amazing tool to instruct, describe, motivate and encourage. The ability to now take the word of God through scripture and prophecy and put it to music is amazing!

Q: When did you know that singing was going to be a central part of your lives?

A: We felt singing became a central part of our lives during our time together being involved in the House of Prayer. Our intentions were never that our lives would encompass much around singing but it’s been amazing to see God use this as a tool in His hands.

Q: Does your style fit into a specific genre?

14440633_10208992663688067_8318495817331016299_nA: Well, we are not very good at answering this question only because both of us have so many influences that have shaped our style. We currently have songs that sound R&B, Theatrical, Alternative, Gospel/Soul and Mainstream. But if we were to categorize our latest album, we feel like it would fit in the Alternative category.

Q: Do either of you play an instrument?

A: Yes, we both play the Piano. Self-taught too!

Q: What were the biggest obstacles in moving from singing at various events to getting an album produced?

A: The biggest obstacle was finding the right person to produce our music. It was important to us that the person was spirit-filled and after God’s heart. Furnace Music was that spirit-filled group of individuals that took the small seed of faith concerning our music and made it move mountains. We are truly thankful for that community and to Nick Rector.

Q: The title of your first single is, “Winning.” What do you hope to convey with this song?

A: Our hope is that this song will inspire listeners to feel worthy of His Love. That Jesus sees them worthy so much that He willingly laid down His life. Because of this truth, especially when it is coupled with a heart that believes, all forms of shame and condemnation are completely disarmed. Jesus wants us to stand victorious with Him. He won so that means we won as well. We are seated with Him in heavenly places!

Q: Tito, what’s one word you would use to describe Jessica?

A: Steadfast.

Q: Jessica, what’s one word you would use to describe Tito?

A: Faithful.

Q: What’s one bit of trivia that most people don’t know about each of you?

A: (Jessica) I went to college to study Psychology but never got my degree because I decided to go into full-time ministry.

A: (Tito) Most people don’t know that before I began worship leading I was the leader of a drama group. We would put on shows and travel across the state ministering through dance and acting.

Q: What’s one of your favorite things to do just for fun?

A: (Jessica) I love nature! I love exploring different places whether that be looking at the stars, sitting at the beach, hiking or fishing. Anything outdoors is fun for me. I also like trying and cooking new foods. As I do these things I love just to reflect on eternity, my purpose in life and how present God is at all times.

A: (Tito) I personally love various forms of art. Currently photography and fashion have been my recent fun activities to do. I have a dream in my heart to be able to somehow reach my generation of men through fashion and social media, to inspire them to not only dress their outsides but insides as well. That a generation of chivalrous mighty men filled with integrity will arise and be who they are made to be. Men filled with honesty, integrity, love and responsibility-takers.

Q: What advice would you give other people who are fearful or stuck in reaching out for their own dreams?

A: (Jessica) I would encourage them to just do it. Fear is a shadow and faith is the light that disperses the shadows. Part of faith is doing what we believe! Fear attempts to restrain us from living what we believe to be true. It says that if you try, you will immediately fail. But the truth is, it’s as easy as taking the first step. When we do that, we will learn to walk.17352387_996679570431827_3534030779256949098_n

A: (Tito) My advice would be to lean on God. Moments when I began leaning on my understanding or operating out of presumption, I always seemed to end up disappointed, hurt, rejected or discouraged. His ways are so much higher and seemingly different than my ways. Every time I come back to God and put those dreams back in His hands, the peace and hand of God becomes more evident throughout my life.

Q: If you could use only one word to describe how you hope listeners will feel after basking in your music, what would it be for each of you?

A: (Jessica) Hope.

A: (Tito) Faith.

Please feel free to share this post, leave a comment and get your copy (or send to someone who needs to hear it) of Tito and Jessica Tosado’s brand new album, Victorious!

Connect with Tito & Jessica Tosado:

Purchase the Album”Victorious” on iTunes: Click Here to Buy!

Website: www.titoandjess.com

Email: jaimetosado7@gmail.com / jessicatosado@icloud.com

Instagram: @titotosado_ / @jessicatosado

Facebook: www.facebook.com/titoandjess

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Cult and Abuse Survivor Comes Full Circle

I love the title of Athena Dean Holtz’s book, “Full Circle.” Picture a half moon, and now, a full moon. When you hear the words, full circle, you know it means completion or the fullness of a thing. You’re hopeful from the outset that things will be set right in the end. The author’s story will lift you up, pull you back, fling you sideways, and then twirl you back around. And then you get to do it all over again! So, fasten your seatbelts. In reading Full Circle, you become an armchair traveler in the author’s very personal journey of restoration, reconciliation and redemption. Including periods of time trapped in childhood sexual abuse, deception, false religion and cults, along with poor personal choices. Choices that led to a ripple effect of mistrust, fear and damage in her personal and business relationships. As is so often the case, early memories of abuse, dashed expectations, not fitting in, or outright rejection can become false guideposts for what is to come, and what we are to become. They help fuel the flames of a morphed personal connection to our God-given destinies, dreams, reality and/or future.

We revisit her places of affluence and privilege, influence and prestige to places of failure and shame, false accusations, heartbreak and loss. A constant juxtaposition between having and losing, success and failure, fullness and emptiness. The author candidly shares of her great love for her father. The father who chooses another woman over her mother, redefining the family as they once knew it. A perfectionist mother who she never fully bonded with and whose approval she struggled to win. And early influences that shaped her perceptions about life and God. She walks us through her entanglement with cults, deception and legalism. And her inner struggles with identity, control, workaholism, perfection and perceived wants and needs. We see how her choices mixed with others’ controlling and manipulative influences made for lethal concoctions. A colorful, sometimes toxic, sometimes confusing, sometimes simply human whirlwind of individual pieces to an ultimately beautiful puzzle.

At the conclusion, we are gratefully relieved and encouraged as we see the necessary course corrections put into place. We are relieved and encouraged in part, because readers can find bits and pieces of their own stories within her story. Places in our own lives where we drifted, (purposely drove, or were manipulated/coerced) off course without our navigational systems fully functioning, only to find ourselves shipwrecked and suddenly wondering how we got ourselves so off course.

The author touches on a multitude of issues in Full Circle. Issues that were no doubt difficult to deal with, much less admit. It serves as a painfully transparent reminder that we all have choices. Choices that will reflect what we believe. What we believe about ourselves, others and God. And because we are a part of a greater entity called humanity, choices that will, for better or worse, ripple out to effect the lives of those who touch ours.

Full Circle is the real and personal story of Athena Dean Holtz. But we all have a full circle story of our own. And even if our stories are stuck at “half-moon,” the best message in this book is that by making wise, discerning, healthy choices coupled with the faithfulness and grace of God, we too can come full circle. The stars can shine that bright for all of us! He is a God of restoration, reconciliation and redemption. He never leaves us alone. That’s his promise. If we seek him, we will find him. That means, step-by-step, thought-by-thought, choice-by-choice.

Thank you Athena Dean Holtz for being vulnerable so that others can be more alert, learn, change and grow. I love that when we give, we receive. As the author chose to give, forgive, “do the work” (reconciled business issues, restored personal relationships, redeemed the time and resources God had placed in her hands from an early age, took personal inventory, underwent counseling and now shares her “lessons learned” with others), she received. Not only wholeness, but forgiveness, restored relationships, healthy perspectives, new opportunities, and so on. I love that God’s plans and purposes for us are always for our good. And they are always so much better than we could ever imagine.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:

You can purchase Athena’s book, Full Circle, online. Visit her website athenadeanholtz.com or blog. Athena also produces and hosts the Always Faithful radio show where she interviews authors, artists and women of faith spotlighting the faithfulness of God.

Athena Dean Holtz is an Author, Speaker, Radio Personality, Pastor’s Wife and Publisher. She has been speaking to groups, large and small, for over 30 years. She is passionate to see women recognize the faithfulness of God, no matter how difficult life may be. 

(I received an advanced reader copy of Full Circle. This writing represents my personal and honest review.)

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Singer-Songwriter Ashley Stringer: Songs of Healing and Hope

Ashley Stringer – Singer, Songwriter & World Changer

Ashley Stringer is a vibrant young singer and songwriter who hopes to change the world one song at a time. She started writing songs at twelve years of age and will be releasing her first album while she’s still fourteen. Her songs represent a journey woven into a musical tapestry of good news. News of healing and hope, identity and joy. She can be found in coffee shops, church venues, special events and sharing her unique sound on social media, including her own YouTube channel. I recently interviewed Ashley about her love of music and passion to express her thoughts and heart through songwriting.

Music & Song

Q: Ashley and music go hand and hand. Smile. Did you come from a musical background growing up, or was music just born inside of you when you came into the world? Or, maybe a little of both?

A: My mother’s side of the family is musically inclined but I have always had a love for music since I was very little. I was either eleven or twelve when I believe I realized music was my passion.

Q: You sing, but you also play the guitar. Do you play other instruments as well?

A: No, I would love to learn to play the piano soon.

Q: Music is a universal language. How does it feel to use your gift of music and then also to have a platform to share it with others?

A: I feel blessed that God has revealed to me the gift of writing and singing, and count it an honor to be able to sing His praises.  It’s a privilege to write music and I pray that with every song there will be an audience that can relate to it and be ministered to by it.

Q: What is at the heart of your music… What propels you to want and need to express yourself in song?

A: Writing songs and expressing myself seems like a natural thing for me to do. When I have ideas or thoughts I journal them and that’s where a lot of my music comes from. I pray that others are blessed by the songs that were birthed from personal experiences of my own or ones that others have shared with me that I have put to songs.

Q: Have you identified a word or a couple of words that describe what you feel most near to through your expression of music… meaning, your “message”?

A: Honesty, Joy and Freedom.

Ashley in the recording studio.

Ashley in the recording studio.

Songwriting

Q: Not only do you sing, but you are also a songwriter. When you write songs, do you have an idea in your mind of the person, or a type of person, you are singing to/for?

A: First, I always write for the glory of God. Second, I write songs for people who are walking through challenges. I want my music to bring hope, encourage, and help others realize they’re not alone.

Q: When did you know it wasn’t enough for you to only sing, but you also felt compelled to write your own lyrics as well?

A: When I was being bullied, I taught myself how to play guitar and not too long after, I started writing songs. During that season of loneliness, writing music was my stress relief. Anytime I was hurting I would play my guitar and God would put lyrics on my heart and notes to strum on the guitar, He helped me author what I think is beautiful music.

Q: It must feel extremely freeing and gratifying to be able to sing words that are straight from your own heart and mind. With both gifts (voice and writing), you are able to truly express, in the way that you want, ideas and thoughts and challenges for others to hear. Would you comment?

A: Absolutely, every song is a story that allows the listener to pierce into the window of my soul. I pray that through my honesty others will be touched and experience healing through Jesus.

Listen to Ashley’s single about bullying and fitting in called “Simple Smile“on YouTube. (See the cover photo below).

Growth in the Journey

Q: Have you ever felt fear or comparison creeping in, and if so, how do you deal with that in order to push forward?

A: I have to remember when I feel this way that God only created one me and my story isn’t going to be like everyone else’s and that’s okay. I sing only for God’s glory and I don’t let comparison creep in. 

Q: What types of things have you done to help yourself communicate your messages through music even more?

A: I have been actively a part of dance troops and taken vocal lessons since I was very young. I’ve ministered in worship and word at several churches and coffee shops. I’ve volunteered for several years leading worship in kids ministry at a church. I feel that all of these things have helped prepare me.

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Ashley’s anti-bullying single, “Simple Smile”.

Following Your Dreams

Q: What have you found to be one of the most challenging parts of seeing your dream become a reality?

A: Patience and trusting God has perfect timing for all things. I was hoping to have this current album completed a long time ago, but studio production is time-consuming and costly. We have had to wait on producers, musicians laying tracks, and much more.

Q: How did you overcome that?

A: It’s a daily “die to self”. My parents remind me often to trust God and His timing for it all.

Q: If you could give one or two pieces of advice to others who want to follow their dream, what would it be?

A: Dream Big! Trust that God knows what’s best for you and know His timing is Perfect. God won’t put you in a situation you can’t handle.

Q: I know you have amazingly supportive parents. What’s one of your favorite things about how they’ve come alongside you in your musical journey?

A: I’m grateful to have parents who are willing to invest in my dream. They constantly encourage my gift. They have absolutely been a pillar of strength for me on this journey. I owe so much of this to my Dad for being our family’s covering, priest and encourager.  My mom is co-producing everything with me and the other producers.  She has a good ear and gives me advice and keeps me grounded.  She takes me to vocal lessons, studio recording sessions, and makes all possible on the ground-level.

Ashley wrote a song for her father while he was undergoing treatment at MD Anderson for Stage 4 cancer. They later created a short video featuring her song, “Journey“.

Social Media

Q: Where can people connect and learn more about your music? Do you have a website, blog, FB or Instagram page? 13007283_113616142377329_2278447126599045461_n

A: I am available on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. I also have a YouTube channel where you can see covers I have done, and more. (My website is currently being updated.)

Q: How has Social Media made an impact or opened doors for you to share your talent?

A: It has allowed me to get exposure from people I would have never reached before. 

Q: How have your fans played a role in building your momentum?

A: I really wouldn’t say I have much of a fan base, only time will tell. I have followers on both Facebook and Instagram, but haven’t intentionally sought to build a base yet.  It has all been organic and we trust in time it will grow on its own.

Q: Do you use any hashtags specifically for your music on social media?

A: #SimpleSmile, #AshleyStringer and #ConsumedByYou which is the title of my album.

Personal

Q: Your faith is at the core of who you are as a young woman. How has your faith strengthened you, inspired you and/or made you more confident and free to be who you are?

A: The bottom line is, I couldn’t do this without God. He’s the one who has opened every door, made way for every relationship, and empowered me to do what I do.

Ashley with her father, Doug Stringer.

Ashley with her father, Doug Stringer.

Q: You travel a lot with your family. What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to so far?

A: I’ve traveled to seventeen countries many of them multiple times and so far I don’t have a favorite. I’ve enjoyed them all!

Q: What’s someplace you’ve never been that you’d love to visit one day?

A: Greece, although I will be traveling there in the next few weeks! (Ashley just returned from Greece and loved it! See her photo below.)

Ashley’s 2017 trip to Greece.

Q: Name a musician, past or present, that is one of your favorite inspirations.

A: Tori Kelly and Celine Dion are my two favorite artists. I admire their vocal ability and Tori’s consecrated walk. 

Q: What is your favorite genre of music? Is there a genre you’ve not yet explored but would like to?

A: I really like Christian Pop and Christian Rap.

Q: Tell me something that your followers may not know about you yet.

A: Most people don’t know I’ve been homeschooled most of my life and really enjoy it.

About the Album

You’ve been busy preparing to release your new album…

Q: What is the name of your album and can you tell me a little about why you decided to do it?

A: My album will be entitled “Consumed By You”. I began to write music and thought releasing an E.P. would be cool but then God gave me enough material for an album.

Q: What is something significant that you’ve learned or discovered through the process of stepping out with your music and sharing it with the world?

A: Just how much healing can come from music

Q: Okay, Takeaways… What do you hope people will come away with after listening to this album?

A: That whatever my listeners may be facing, they can make it through. God loves them, and with Him, all things are possible.

Q: It’s been a joy to watch your talent and journey unfold. I’m sure this is just the beginning. Can you share something you’d love to explore or do next?

A: It’s hard for me to see too far down the road. I’m just excited for every ministry opportunity I have today. 

Q: Where can we hear and purchase/download your music?

A: I have a single out on iTunes and the album will release mid-February. You will be able to listen through Spotify, iTunes and YouTube.

Love this Girl! Stay tuned for more of Ashley Stringer, singer, songwriter and world changer.

Connect with Ashley Stringer!

The best way to connect with me is through my website or my social media accounts.

Facebook: @AshleyStringer

Website: AshleyStringer.com

Instagram: @Ashleymstringer

Twitter: @AshleyStringerr

YouTube: Watch/Listen to Ashley on YouTube

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Overcoming Fear and Worry

 Book Cover - Overcoming Fear and Worry

The good news is, we can decide whether we prefer a life of fear and worry or a life of freedom from fear and worry.

Dr. H. Norman Wright’s book, Overcoming Fear & Worry is broken up into sections that help readers understand fear and worry and how to overcome both. It is an easy-reading book that offers practical ways to challenge and lift readers out of unhealthy and defeatist ways of thinking and behaving. The author discusses the healthy and unhealthy power of fear and the negative impact of worry, including how we view and relate to both, and what we allow or disallow.

The book addresses the causes and effects of fear, and helps readers to take inventory and assess the role allowed and assigned to it. This underscores the importance of how we relate to fear and worry in regard to decision-making and the impact in both pivotal and everyday decisions in our lives.

While fear can be a negative force–debilitating, paralyzing and often the cause of a life of mediocrity, the author says, “Hope is a totally different motivating force—a positive drive. Hope is like a magnet that draws you toward your goal. Hope expands your life and brings a message of possibility and change.”

The author also speaks to the correlation of fear and perfectionism, and “taming the monster of what-ifs”. He clearly discusses our human capacity to analyze, identify and re-train our minds about the thoughts that form beliefs that we eventually act upon.

“The fear of life is actually more debilitating than the fear of death. Fear disables. Fear shortens life. Fear cripples our relationships with others. Fear blocks our relationship with God.”

Readers will learn how the roles of physiology, genetics/biochemistry and personality relate to fear and worry; and, how real or imagined fears and worry play a part in our emotional, spiritual and physical well-being.

The book offers practical advice on how to rearrange destructive “what if” scenarios into potential for positive outcome “what if” scenarios; and replacement thoughts and statements. All meant to help re-align a person’s thinking with reality, logic and/or real possibility.

Unhealthy fears and worry starve our potential and strangulate our freedom keeping us from living our best lives. Learn how to break patterns of fear and worry and re-focus on solutions versus problems from a biblical perspective.

This book is ideal for individuals seeking freedom from the burdens created by fear and worry and as a tool for use in a group study/discussion. It would also work well as a guide or supplement for counseling situations.

About the Author

Dr. H. Norman Wright is a grief and trauma therapist and a licensed marriage, family and child therapist. He has been on the faculty of Biola University and Talbot School of Theology, where he has taught graduate students in counseling and psychology for four decades. He has authored more than 80 books including Experiencing Grief and Recovering from the Losses in Life. 

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

Note: Rose Publishing provided me with an advanced reader copy of this book.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Twitter Art Exhibit 2014: Creating Art for Good

Twitter Art Exhibit 2014, Orlando, FL

Who says good things don’t come in small packages? On March 20th, hundreds of artists from around the globe will display an original handmade postcard-sized piece of art at Twitter Art Exhibit. This year’s event will take place at the CityArts Factory, Magic Gallery in Orlando, Florida, and will benefit The Center for Contemporary Dance.

Twitter Art Exhibit is the brainchild of artist and founder, David Sandum. This social media driven fundraiser attracts professional and amateur artists alike who share the same goal: to create art for good. The call for participation has been answered by artists from as many as 35 countries thus far. Each unique piece of artwork is displayed and sold for $35 with 100% of the proceeds from art sales going directly to the chosen charity.

In its first year, Twitter Art Exhibit proceeds went to procuring new children’s books for a struggling library in Moss, Norway. It has also raised funds for an organization mentoring underprivileged young adults in preparation for careers in the visual arts in Los Angeles; and, a shelter for abused women. Learn More.

This year’s Twitter Art Exhibit will benefit special needs students at The Center for Contemporary Dance, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to dance education and outreach. The special needs classes offer a series of specialty dance classes for students with Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and cerebral palsy, including those requiring use of a wheelchair.

What do these artists have in common? Not necessarily their style, artistic portfolios, or even taste. What they do have in common, is a generous spirit and a desire to share just a little piece of their own heart, talents, and imaginations for the sake of a worthy cause. Collectively, that means a rewarding (and memorable) experience for the artists, those who purchase their art, and most importantly, the recipients.

Though some of the artists will attend the event in person, most will celebrate the camaraderie of their new-found creative tribesmen (and women), and the audience reach beyond the borders of their paint palettes and ink jars, as they co-participate in enriching and empowering the lives of others. In that sense, it is a global event with a virtual artist connection.

Exhibit Founder, David Sandum, says: “I love art and people and my whole philosophy behind my work is to transmit my feelings to others so it triggers dialogue.”  Like music, one of the most wonderful things about art is that it crosses boundary lines. We don’t need to speak the same language, be from the same generation, class, or even political persuasion for it to evoke emotions, challenge, or inspire us. Without boundaries, communication is not an obstacle. Like the artist’s paint or ink, dialogue, ideas, thoughts, and emotions can flow freely, purposefully.

Good things do come in small packages. How delightful it is to scroll through such a variety of art—each with its own unique back story and creator–with the understanding that these little treasures will make a real difference in someone’s life. It’s the power of one. When it all comes together (all of the small yet individually created pieces), it can be a transformative experience. As David Sandum says, “Through art we can change the world.”

I’ll be participating, will you?

David Sandum, Artist and Founder of Twitter Art Exhibit

David Sandum, Artist and Founder of Twitter Art Exhibit

David Sandum is a Swedish-born artist who conceived Twitter Art Exhibit as a vehicle for doing good through social media and online community-building. The idea: artists around the globe receive a call through Twitter social media to create original postcard-sized art, which they mail to a local curator, who then exhibits and sells them to benefit a local charity. Follow David on Twitter at @DavidSandum and view his art online at davidsandum.org.

Learn more about the 2014 Twitter Art Exhibit, visit the Twitter Art Exhibit Facebook page, connect with Twitter Art Exhibit on Twitter, and use hashtag #TwitterArtExhibit to follow online. Last, but not least, be sure to tell a friend!

For a sneak peek, visit my Pinterest board: Twitter Art Exhibit. You can join me on Twitter @AprilCartoons where I tweet about creativity, communications, branding, and innovation, or @DestinysWomen where I tweet about Freedom and Human Rights issues.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Depression: Walking From Darkness Into the Dawn

Women experience twice the rate of depression as men. -The National Alliance on Mental Health

Depression is crippling. It has the power to change the course of people’s lives, their relationships, opportunities, and futures. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, when people suffer with depression it interferes with daily life and causes pain not only to the sufferer, but those who care about them. Though depression is common, it is a serious illness. From the outside looking in, it’s hard to imagine that nearly 1 million people “end their journey of isolation and hope by taking their own life” every year.

Depression is Debilitating

I saw a brilliant man who was tormented with his own demons. Tormented with self doubt, self-hate. I did not fully understand what was happening to him, and that is when I realized he had been hiding his darkness. –Katrina

Depression: Walking From Darkness Into the Dawn is part of the Hope for the Heart series authored by June Hunt. Hunt is a popular speaker, radio host, and counselor known for offering biblical hope and practical help at pivotal times in people’s lives. She writes, “Those who struggle in the darkness of depression have difficulty seeing the good in their circumstances and especially in themselves.” Hunt helps people understand where depression originates, why it keeps them stuck, and how to walk out of the darkness and into the light.

“In wearing masks, we try to protect our hearts and hide who we really are and what we don’t want to face.”

Understanding the Basics

Readers will learn:

Definitions of Depression: Including psychological depression, classic types of depression and specific definitions of mood disorders.

Characteristics of Depression: Including normal depression, masked depression, neurotic depression, and psychotic depression.

Causes of Depression: Including physical, emotional and spiritual-related depression.

Steps to Solution: Including “taking off masks”; creating a personal timeline of meaningful events to help in assessing roots and causes; Do’s and Don’ts for Family and Friends; and, How You Can Help sections.

Connecting the Dots

“Depressed people see life through a black filter, feeling hatred toward themselves, hopeless about their situations and hopeless over their future.”

Depression affects the whole person. In her book, Hunt speaks to the emotional connection with depression including repressed anger and bitterness; a physical connection including hormonal imbalances, genetic vulnerabilities and healthy lifestyle choices; and a spiritual connection including suppressed fears (abandonment, rejection, failure) and internalized stress (relationships, finances, responsibilities).

Getting Help

Readers will learn what it means for their heart to be in a “state of depression”; how life events (rejection, abuse, divorce, death); medications; and negative or destructive thought patterns can contribute to depression.

After establishing the “what” and “whys” of depression, the author offers positive and empowering counsel on how to begin walking out of the darkness of depression. A common and critical theme throughout the booklet is the importance of replacing dark thoughts with truth (reality). She suggests writing a Thanksgiving List, getting outside of yourself by helping others, allowing for healthy grieving and healing when appropriate, and more. She also lists related scripture verses and a Q&A section; and encourages readers to seek professional medical help as needed.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, help is available and relief is possible. This biblical-based booklet will provide a quick overview with both practical and spiritual help for individuals or counselors.

Author June Hunt

About the Author

June Hunt is a biblical counselor whose award-winning radio program “Hope for the Heart” is heard on nearly 900 radio outlets around the world. She is a sought-after public speaker on topics such as crisis counseling, child abuse, forgiveness and self-worth. Her “Hope for the Heart” booklets have been translated into 27 languages.

Additional Resources:

National Alliance on Mental Health: Women and Depression

Mayo Clinic: Depression in Women: Understanding the Gender Gap

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

Note: Rose Publishing provided me with an advanced reader copy of this booklet.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Suicide Prevention: Hope When Life Seems Hopeless

“Suicide is a desperate attempt to get out of what seems to be an intolerable situation. It appears to be a way of escape from the pain of living.” –June Hunt

According to the World Health Organization, approximately one million people die by suicide annually. Suffering suicide is a deliberate act of killing oneself while in an extreme state of despair. In Latin, sui means “oneself” and cide means “to kill.”

In her book, Suicide Prevention: Hope When Life Seems Hopeless, June Hunt addresses faulty assumptions: “My future holds no promise;” “My wrongs won’t be forgiven;” “My dreams won’t come true;” saying, “so goes the fatalistic thinking of the hopeless.” Suicide Prevention: Hope When Life Seems Hopeless is part of the Hope for the Heart series authored by June Hunt. She is a popular speaker, radio host, and counselor known for offering biblical hope and practical help at pivotal times in peoples lives.

Living with Hopelessness

How sad it is that there are people around us who find the idea of exiting life early a welcome solution to their seemingly untangleable unending/unresolvable torment. They are convinced that death will rescue and relieve them from suffering the heavy burden of overwhelming pain. They are without hope.

God created everyone with an inner need to feel significant, yet the desire to live slowly burns out within a heart that no longer sees a reason to live. As the candle of hope is extinguished, that inner sense of purpose is snuffed out by overwhelming despair.”

Hunt speaks to the power of haunting trauma, mocking shame, suffocating secrecy, engulfing agony, a victimizer’s power, crushing emotional burdens, tormenting self-hatred, and the catalysts that push sufferers over the edge. Those who entertain suicidal thoughts are often surrounded by feelings of smallness (powerless over their tormenting internal or external accusers), darkness, coldness… hopelessness.

Her acrostic (that spells the word escape) gives clues to issues that often attend suicide: Excessive Loss, Social Isolation, Critical Illness/Impairment, Abusive Background, Psychological Disorders, Excessive Guilt.

You’re Not Alone

When we lose our capacity for hope, darkness takes advantage and begins to seep into our thinking. It fools us into believing the worst, isolating us, and making us believe we are the only ones experiencing this inner hell.

  • Do you ever think that life is not worth living?
  • Do you ever wish you could fall asleep and not wake up?
  • Are you thinking of harming yourself?
  • What do you fear the most?

When you’re in the darkest depths of despair, when you feel emotionally trapped with no way out, remember, you’re not alone. Countless thousands all around the world are experiencing the same feelings of hopelessness. Did you know that over 90% of people who die by suicide have a mental disorder, or that untreated depression can significantly increase the risk for suicide? She writes, “Those struggling with life-threatening thoughts do not feel connected to others. They feel all alone–even alone in the midst of a crowd.” What we need to know about people obsessed with or considering suicide is this:

People don’t want to die—what they really want is for their pain to end.

That means they want hope. They want a reason to hope. But they need something more powerful than themselves to lead them out of the darkness that deceives them into thinking and believing that death is the answer, and into the light.

Getting Help

The author outlines three stages for observers to be aware of in the case of potential suicide (associated thinking/behaviors/attitudes); characteristics of suicidal teens; and various questions you can ask a suicidal spouse, child, or friend. Readers will also learn definitions, characteristics, causes, and most importantly, steps to solutions. The booklet offers a run-through of personal spiritual history, medical history, thought patterns, and family suicidal history that can be used as an assessment aid; plus a practical checklist with examples of ways to alleviate suicidal obsession.

There is also a special section for parents, educators and coaches dedicated to “bully-cide.” (Bully-cide refers to a person who dies of suicide because of the torment, fear, and humiliation associated with being bullied.)

If you are plagued with suicidal thoughts, or suspect someone you know might be, this booklet provides a quick overview with both practical and spiritual help. It is also wise to share with a trusted friend, advisor, medical and/or mental health professional.

In reestablishing hope for the heart, the author leads readers back to God’s desire: to restore lives through his love, to give comfort, and compassion. He wants to make broken lives and shattered hearts whole again–to alleviate pain, heal hearts, and restore hope.

Author June Hunt

About the Author June Hunt is a biblical counselor whose award-winning radio program “Hope for the Heart” is heard on nearly 900 radio outlets around the world. She is a sought-after public speaker on topics such as crisis counseling, child abuse, forgiveness and self-worth. Her “Hope for the Heart” booklets have been translated into 27 languages.

Additional Resources:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline (or call 1-800-273-8255)

Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors

How to Help Someone Who is Suicidal

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

Note: Rose Publishing provided me with an advanced reader copy of this booklet.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy

In DISPOSABLE PEOPLE: New Slavery in the Global Economy, abolitionist and author Kevin Bales makes a clarion call for the ending of modern-day slavery around the world.

Slavery is theft — theft of a life, theft of work, theft of any property or produce, theft even of the children a slave might have borne. -Kevin Bales

This book is well researched and documented through the author’s personal experience going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders. His investigation of slavery took him around the globe to Mauritania, Brazil, Thailand, Pakistan, and India.

Even with the resurgence of an abolitionist movement in modern times, the fact is, there are an estimated 27 million people living in slavery around the globe, yet many still escape our awareness or acknowledgement.  Why?

Bales argues that the increasing globalization of the economy–supply and demand–has fueled the “need” for coerced labor in the global supply chain, including forced child labor and debt bondage. What many readers will find interesting is his economic rationale for why slavery is not as profitable or sustainable as fair labor practices.

In what is referred to as the emergence of a “new slavery,” he asserts that modern-day slaves, unlike traditional forms of slavery, are not always considered a long-term investment. That means human beings lose their value. Many are viewed by slave masters as cheap, usable and sometimes (as in the case of sex slavery) reusable, “disposable” people.

Bales also illuminates the urgent need to raise individual and global social consciousness by connecting the dots from the slave to the end-user. He challenges our norms, by highlighting the necessity to re-think our purchase and consumption habits and preferences, and how supply and demand can directly affect slavery. The book challenges political, corporate *and* personal consumption mindsets and behaviors.

Kevin Bales

But he doesn’t just expose readers to this massive global problem and leave the research and case studies on the table. He offers readers strategic solutions. This book will open your eyes to the bigger picture and leave readers with a personal choice once they have been opened.

All of the author’s royalties from this book go to fund anti-slavery projects around the world.

 

 

Buy the Book Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy.

Kevin Bales is co-founder of Free the Slaves.

Watch & Listen to Big Think Interviews with Kevin Bales.

Watch Ted Talks Video of Kevin Bales: How To Combat Modern Slavery.

As an author, a professor of sociology, and consultant to the United Nations Global Program on Human Trafficking, Kevin Bales is one of the world’s foremost experts on modern slavery. He has made it his mission to eradicate global slavery. Read More.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

 

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